New home closings in the Columbus, OH market sank year-over-year in March, and there were signs of worsening market conditions as the percentage decline was steeper than February 2016. New home closings saw a 55.0% decline from a year earlier to 112. This followed a 43.4% fall year-over-year in February.

A total of 2,202 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in March, down from 2,339 for the year that ended in February.

New home closings made up 3.9% of overall housing closings. This is down from the 8.4% of closings a year earlier. Following a year-over-year increase in February, closings of new and existing homes declined year-over-year in March.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

The average price of new homes climbed year-over-year 2.5% in March to $308,875 per unit. This bump is smaller than the 3.2% surge in February year-over-year.

For newly sold homes, the average mortgage size saw a lift year-over-year along with new home prices. The average mortgage size saw a 8.4% bump year-over-year to $271,502 in March. In February 2016, average mortgage size on newly sold homes saw a 5.4% boost year-over-year from a year earlier.

Other Market Trends

As a percentage of new home closings, attached unit closings have risen from last year while single-family home closings have dropped. The share of new home closings belonging to attached units climbed from 22.1% of closings in March 2015 to 28.6% of closings in March 2016. Meanwhile, single-family home closings as a percentage of all new home closings dropped to 71.4% of closings from 77.9% of closings.

The average unit size of newly sold homes gained 4.2% year-over-year to 2,628 square feet in March 2016. The average size of newly sold homes moved from 2,442 square feet in February 2015 to 2,214 square feet in February 2016.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings continued to drop from a year earlier in March, but did not appear to be dragging the market. Out of all existing home closings, foreclosures combined with REO closings made up 20.5% of closings, below 23.4% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures declined to 9.8% in March from 11.2% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings fell to 10.7% from 12.3% a year earlier.

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